Category Archives: Social Gospel

Lordship Salvation and Vacation Bible Schools: Clueless, Careless, or Callous?

By johninnc

Ephesians 4:14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

It is that time of year again when the advertisements for Vacation Bible Schools (VBSs) start showing up on church marquees. Unfortunately, the VBSs are only as good as the churches that sponsor them.

Many of the churches that sponsor VBSs are either unclear, inconsistent, or just plain wrong on the subject of how one receives eternal life. As such, they are completely unsuitable for teaching God’s word to anyone, including our children.

A couple of years ago, we featured an article on summer Bible camps and VBS, which is linked below. We still believe it provides a useful framework for evaluating these programs.

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

In addition to the Biblically unsound churches that sponsor VBSs are the commercial purveyors of VBS supplies to the churches. I recently came across one such purveyor whose complete list of “frequently asked questions” was as follows:

  • What Bible translation does Group VBS use?
  • Is Group VBS associated with a denomination?
  • What are God Sightings®?
  • Is there a missions component to your VBS programs?
  • How do preschoolers tie into Group VBS?
  • How can I easily manage my VBS?
  • Who do I contact if I have questions or issues?
  • What are the main differences between the programs?
  • Do I have to follow Group’s suggested format?
  • Where can I go to find decorating ideas?
  • How many volunteers do your vbs programs take?

Please note that none of the questions had anything to do with how one receives eternal life. When I drilled down into the first question regarding Bible translation, I was dismayed to find that they use exclusively the NLT (New Living Translation), which contains a lot of error that is central to the gospel message. I also find it astounding that a company would actually purport to trademark “God Sightings”!

I would strongly advise against allowing your children to go to any VBS sponsored by a church that is clueless, careless, or callous.

Clueless means any church that is not absolutely clear regarding the gospel message. That would include any church that teaches salvation by works, either directly or by implication. It would include any church that teaches that water baptism or public confession of Christ are required to receive eternal life. Or, that eternal life can be lost or forfeited. And, it would include any church that insists that “a true Christian will ___.”

Careless may mean that the church is affiliated with a group, such as the Southern Baptist Convention or the Presbyterian Church USA, that distorts the gospel message. It might also mean that the church allows the teaching of books like “The Fan,” that contradict the gospel, or that the church allows false teachers, such as Charles Spurgeon or Billy Graham, to be quoted favorably.

Callous means that the church isn’t really concerned whether or not your child has eternal life. Instead, they may be focused on promoting false social gospels, on ill-conceived missions, or on the performances of  good deeds.

Of course, in order to be able to determine whether a church, or its VBS are sound, you must know the gospel and be well-grounded in it.

If you would like to know where to start click here: The Gospel

Parliament, Potluck, or Propitiation?

By johninnc

Romans 3:25-26: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Salt Lake City from October 15-19. According to organizers, 10,000 people, from 80 nations, and 50 religious traditions participated.

I went to the website for the event and found the following:

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

You should attend:

  • If you are concerned about war, terrorism, and hatred
  • If you care for creation and are worried about climate change
  • If you are troubled by the widening wealth gap and wasteful consumption
  • If you care for religions and nations working together in harmony for the good of humanity

You will also find:

  • Trainers in dialogue, interfaith activism, fundraising, and organizing
  • World-class religious music, films, exhibits, and performances
  • Shopping for ethnic, international, and religious books and goods

Following are some notable quotes from, or regarding, the Parliament:

“When we all get together and consolidate and cooperate, instead of fighting, we’re gonna save the world.” Jane Goodall, biologist.

My comment: “we” are not going to save the world.

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

“It’s nice to remember that though our faiths  take us on different paths, they can all ultimately take us to the same destination. Religion, when an engine for collaboration and addressing social problems, is a source for tremendous optimism about our collective destiny.” Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz.

My comment: There are separate destinies for those who believe in Jesus as Savior and those who do not.

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Of course, this line of humanistic reasoning is not brand new. From a 2010 article entitled “Future Religious and Ethical Leaders Ask the Hard Questions — Together” by Chris Stedman we glean similar quotes:

“While I have ultimately learned that my spiritual identity is not synonymous with Minnesota culture, perhaps there’s room for a new potluck where everyone’s dish is welcome.” Kari Aanestad, Master of Divinity student (who identifies as a Lutheran).

My comment: Jesus is the bread of life. Potluck religion is just death warmed over.

John 6:33: For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

“As young scholars, practitioners, and activists, our spiritual lives, or our careers might be in states of formation, but the public conversations about religion and ethics in the United States are also in a state of formation.” Joshua Eaton, Budhist, and Recent Master of Divinity graduate, Harvard University.

My comment: Neither religion, nor ethics can give eternal life.

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am they way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Now, one more quote from the Parliament:

“If everyone takes baby steps every day, beginning with a revolution of our forks, it will make a mighty and lasting difference. Let us not only just have a sustainable relationship with our planet, but rather let’s have a blissful one, leaving behind footprints of beauty.” Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder and director of Los Angeles- based Agape Spiritual Ministries.

My comment: Self-imposed dietary laws have no spiritual value  whatsoever. We leave footprints of beauty by our faithfulness in preaching the gospel.

Romans 10:9: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring good tidings of great things!

____________________________________

Dear reader, the ONLY way to get to heaven is to trust in Christ ALONE as your Savior.

God has provided fully for your salvation through Jesus.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Here is an overview of what that means:

1. Everyone is a sinner
2. The penalty for sin is death (eternal separation from God in a place of conscious torment – hell)
3. One must be perfect to get into heaven. Not good. Not great. Perfect.
4. One cannot do anything of himself to obtain this perfection – this includes turning from sin, committing your life to Christ and so on. God offers eternal life as a gift – it’s not for sale or barter.
5. God provided a sin-bearer for us (The Lord Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh. He had no sin of his own, but he came to die for us, paying the full penalty for our sin. He was raised from the dead, proving that His payment was acceptable).
6. All we can do to receive everlasting life is to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7. Eternal life, once received by faith in Christ, can never be lost or forfeited, no matter what happens in our lives down the road.

What is there to do to receive eternal life? Simply BELIEVE that Jesus made that payment for your sin – for you.

If you would like additional detail, please click here: THE GOSPEL

Who Said That?

By johninnc

From Wikipedia: Who Said That? is a 1947-55 NBC radio-television game show, in which a panel of celebrities attempts to determine the speaker of a quotation from recent news reports.

The following quotes are from various organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence contemporary society in one way or another. My point in selecting  these quotes is not the degree to which they do, or do not, reflect appropriate perspectives on the issues to which they pertain. Rather, my point is the degree to which these quotes seem aligned with contemporary issues of social justice, environmentalism, and altruism.

I will publish the source of each of the quotes (the answer key) as the first response to this article.

_______________________________________________________

1. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals.

2. The poor and excluded face dire threats from climate disruptions, including the increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, heat waves, and rising sea levels.

3. Advocate

Join with others who are seeking to ensure that governments, corporations and communities do their part to achieve the goals of:

  • Halting the spread of HIV through effective prevention, treatment and care.
  • Eliminating the stigma and discrimination experienced by those who are HIV-positive.
  • Reducing the conditions of poverty and marginalization that contribute to the spread of HIV.

4. With the news on immigration focused on administrative relief and a new Congress seemingly bent on undoing that relief, we know there may be some confusion about what is happening.

5. How do we deliver the first AIDS free generation in over 30 years? It all begins with the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child. Right now, in developing countries, over 650 babies are born with the disease every day. But we have the power to change things by providing HIV positive mothers with the lifesaving medication they need to deliver a healthy, HIV—free baby. And all it takes is just 40 cents a day.

6. Current scientific findings indicate that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to avert accelerated climate change. Scarcity of natural resources and threats to ecosystems and biodiversity are serious environmental issues. Recent events, from extreme weather events to severe droughts to the decline in summer arctic sea ice extent, all illustrate the severe consequences and devastating impacts of climate change. These challenges demand fundamental changes in the way society, including businesses, uses natural resources.

7. We support the right of all public and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining into unions and other groups of their own choosing.

Every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs.

 Corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders, but also to other stakeholders: their workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, the communities in which they do business, and for the earth, which supports them.

8. Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.

9. And rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for our families and social cohesion — not just because we tend to trust our institutions less, but studies show we actually tend to trust each other less when there’s greater inequality.

10. Learn about and support proposed legislation that would provide in-state tuition for immigrant students as well as other pro-immigrant bills…

Consider holding a series of workshops or events that educate people in your community about their legal rights, how to prepare for a raid, or the impacts of local immigration laws and ordinances.

11. Principles of Solidarity

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute.

12. Sustainability –  it’s in our heritage.

_______________________________________________________

As you think about the missions of the above individuals and groups, and their adherents, think about what makes them similar and what makes them different. Think about how these messages may have been different in different times and circumstances.

And, if you would like to know how to have eternal life, based on God’s unchanging word, please click here: Eternal Life

Please note: we are interested in your comments. However, we are not interested in your political views, your impression of Jesus’ political views, etc. We are interested in your views of how governments, businesses, and churches are becoming more closely aligned in their stated goals and priorities.

Lordship Salvation’s Demon Belief That Does Not Save

By Our Dear Friend, John

James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19 is one of the favorite verses that Lordship “Salvationists” quote to try to convince themselves and others that one has to do more than trust in Christ to receive eternal life. Incidentally, you will usually hear them say “demons” instead of “devils”, because that is how the NIV and other LS Bibles have translated this verse.

When you hear someone raise James 2:19 as an objection to God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ, you are hearing the voice of confusion and disbelief. You are a witness to the bad fruit of the LS tree. While it is true that demons believe and tremble, it is not true that this means that simple belief in Christ is not sufficient to save a human believer. Demons are beyond redemption, so the content of their faith is irrelevant. For a more compete discussion of this topic, click the attached link:

A Lordship “Salvationist’s” Prayer To His Prodigal Son

But, besides a demon’s belief, is there a belief that doesn’t save? Is it possible for a human being to believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead and still not have eternal life? The answer to the above questions is a resounding YES. There is a belief that doesn’t save. In fact, there are all kinds of beliefs that don’t save, but not for the reasons that Lordship “salvationists” espouse.

Lordship “salvationists” believe that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life. Some of the more common adages that indicate that someone might have been “bitten by the LS bug” include:

  • “There’s head faith and heart faith, and only heart faith saves.”
  • “There’s no ‘fire insurance’. You have to want to follow Christ to be saved.”
  • “A believer won’t be sinless. But, he will sin less.”
  • “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
  • “We’re not saved by faith plus works, but we are saved by a faith that works.”
  • “A true Christian may backslide, but he will always return to the faith.”
  • “A Christian’s behavior will change once he is saved.”
  • “It is disciples who are saved.”
  • “Believing in Christ isn’t a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.”
  • “He can’t be your Savior if He’s not your Lord.”

Each of the above, and other similar expressions, indicate that someone is not quite comfortable with Grace. These types of statements expose an underlying misunderstanding of, or disbelief in, the part of the Gospel that says “Christ died FOR OUR SINS.”

The Lordship “Salvationist” does not believe that Christ paid the FULL PRICE for our sins, leaving us nothing to pay. He believes that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection were necessary, but not sufficient. He believes that he must add to Christ’s finished work with his repentance from sin, commitment, or perseverance. In other words, the Lordship “Salvationist” has accepted Jesus as Lord and Helper, not Lord and Savior.

So, there is belief that does not save. It is belief in a false gospel of Christ plus works for salvation, more commonly known as Lordship “salvation.”

Can a person believe in Christ alone and not be saved? The answer to this one needs less explanation. The answer is NO.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Eternal Life — No Strings Attached!<< Click

Wiki-Heresies Debut – Exposing Lordship “salvation” In All of Its Vagaries

We at ExPreacherMan take great care in proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Jesus Christ Alone. We know the doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace alone is Biblically verifiable and true. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Such Great Salvation is absolutely independent of any Biblical mandate for a performance of “good works,” before, during or after a person makes that one-time decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. That is Grace.

Of course, every believer in Jesus Christ SHOULD walk in good works, as taught in many, many places in God’s Word  (Ephesians 2:10), but there is no redemptive power or benefit by doing in good works. God’s Salvation is a FREE Gift, by Grace alone in Jesus Christ alone, without work, effort or merit on man’s part. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved..”

Therefore, we at ExP have created a Page whereby our readers may visit and browse a list, of teachers, preachers, writers and organizations who pervert the Biblical doctrine of God’s Free Grace. We include  descriptions, evidence and (in most cases) links to those whom we discuss.

The link has a permanent place as the last line of several links on our Header at ExPreacherMan. It is easy to find. We invite you to visit:

Wiki-Hweresies << Click

Always remember, Eternal Life is a FREE Gift

Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

hide and seek

By our friend, contributor and commenter, John

 2 Corinthians 4:3-4:  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

How does Satan use Lordship “salvation” to keep people from believing the Gospel?

Following are some of my random thoughts on this question.  Please feel free to add yours.

False Fronts

 Luke 8:12:  “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Much of mainstream Christendom teaches some form of false gospel of faith plus works.  Churches that fall into this category are not really churches at all – they are false fronts.  Satan loves to steer lost people into these buildings of bewilderment.

Consider the following from the Statement of Faith of a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in South Carolina:

“Our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).  Unfortunately, by adding “when we repent of our sins” and “surrender to Jesus as Lord” as conditions of receiving eternal life, this church is not preaching the Gospel.

Note that the SBC mantra is “Reaching the World for Christ”.  This is not a likely outcome.

Playing for the Wrong Team

Closely associated with false fronts are believers who align themselves with them.

According to a March 27, 2013 blog in “The Christian Post”, the combined membership of the top 15 denominations in the United States is 62 million.  At the top of the list, with 16.2 million members, is the Southern Baptist Convention, followed by the United Methodist Church at 7.8 million.  Following is a quote:

 “…I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half 0f one percent.”

The real shame is that the membership numbers for many of these denominations are not shrinking faster.

Camouflage

 The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is a specific message that is unique in that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.  Countless false gospels have been created by adding to the content of saving faith.

In his article “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Backside of the Gospel Message”, J.O. Hosler writes:

“…one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

Fomenting Dissension among Believers

My final thought is that Satan’s work does not stop once a person believes.  He loves to cause dissension between us by appealing to our fleshly natures.  He hopes to divide and conquer by appealing to our emotions.  This includes misplaced loyalty to pastors or theologians, hurt over perceived slights from other believers, and disagreements over non-central theological issues.

The Grace Gospel of TRUTH << Click

Sympathy for Rick and Kay Warren at Their Son’s Suicide

By Jack Weaver

Rick and Kay Warren’s son, Matthew, committed suicide a week or so ago.

Many of us here have children and, no matter their age or circumstances, we can think of nothing worse than discovering that our child has committed suicide. We have sympathy for the Warrens as they go through their grief and loss. We also know that a parent cannot command the actions of a twenty something son or daughter.

There have been no statements released indicating that their son, Matthew, ever made that critical decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, by Grace alone through Faith alone. We see many well meaning Christians speaking of Matthew, that they hope he will RIP (rest in peace). If he ever trusted Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, he will, right now, be resting at peace with his Savior, Jesus. However if he never made that decision to trust Jesus alone as his Savior, he is, like every unbeliever, not resting in peace but experiencing the horrors of Hell. That is Biblical fact! (John 3:18)

However, at this time while our feelings for the Warren family are sincere, we should not allow our sympathy to betray or cloud our Biblical discernment. Absolutely nothing can erase the horrible damage that Rick Warren’s “theology” has done to Biblical Christianity.

We pray that sympathy for the Warren family will not translate into Christians, out of compassion and tenderness, seeking to further investigate, follow and believe his false teachings.

One of Warren’s friends, Beth Moore (a false teacher in her own right), on Warren’s own web site, Pastors.com, used the occasion of Matthews suicide to write a scathing article, critical of any “believers” who would write anything against Warren’s false teaching at this particular time. She called out such Christians as being, relentless, mud slingers, mean, careless, bullies, enemies, hateful, mockers, slanderers, self serving, and snide.

Well, for years we have tried to document some of Rick Warren’s more egregious examples of promoting false doctrine, as well as his efforts to promote ecumenism.  Below are a few examples:

Here is Rick Warren speaking at his World Economic Forum Conference at Georgetown University. He brought in 3 Catholic priests, 3 Imams, 3 “Evangelical” ministers, 3 Rabbis — and asked what can we do about AIDS. He speaks of the Islamic Imams as his “Islamic brothers.”
This video is from the “World Economic Forum” in 2009 with — United Nations gurus Tony Blair (former UK Prime Minister) and Ban Ki Moon. This seems to be an ecumenical run up to the last World Ruling Power and the one world church.
Warren’s Ecumenical Anti-Biblical Video << Click

Quotes from Rick Warren at ExPreacherMan:

His Anti-Biblical remarks about fundamental Christianity:

“Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America … Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity.” Quote by Rick Warren, May 2005

He calls Biblical fundamentalism an enemy – compares with Muslim fanatics:

[Fundamentalism is] “one of the big enemies of the 21st century.” “Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.” Rick Warren, January 2006

As believers in God’s free Grace we should sympathize with  the Warren’s in their grief, just as we would with any other human beings. But please, do not fall for the ecumenical gobbledygook being spread by the religious left that we must “feel” for the Warren’s and consequently embrace Rick’s foul teaching.

Eternal Life for You FREE << Click